My So Called Life

'On Phonelines and Letterheads'

(Engineer Records)

MARK: 85/100

Another young band of recent creation hails from the UK. The four-piece debuts with a mini-CD made up by 7 tracks (4 songs + an intro, an interlude and an outro) moving between Indie Rock driven by Punk guitars in the refrains, Emo singing and occasional angelic backing vocals!
There are not many (semi-)acoustic parts, yet there's a large quantity of stop 'n' goes like in the frantic Pop Punk of "Revenge against the Black-hearted Fairies".
Anyway, it's always the guitarist to lead the others, often looking for unusual plots; an example is the middle of "We Thought Drew Barrimore Was the Lead until She Died in 11 Minutes". The exception is "Let's Get A Move, We've Got A War to Win", where the one striving to steer away from classic schemes of Melodic and Symphonic Rock is the drummer.
As you've noticed, the four guys have a keen sense of humour, and this reflects on the funny titles of the songs; the peak of nonsense definetely goes to "Trading My Spots for Antlers", which reveals all of the singers' vocal ranges and abilities to differ from foreseeable formulas; this is one of the strong points of the EP and that is why this track is the highlight of the record, enthralling and its way original, vaguely calling AFI, and even the toughest Police in action.
This debut is far more than acceptable, showing an energetic act dealing with its self-development through the several moods and contrasts of their songs. They've already clear on their minds what style and music territories they want to deal with (Moneen, Matchbook Romance, Converge, The Starting Line, The Beatles, Senses Fail, The Ataris, Osker...), so it's just a matter of adjusting fire a bit. The good news is that they don't seem to lack inspiration and their compositions are plainly the result of an unhurried and therefore efficient songwriting.

MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - 2nd November 2007

Line-up on this record:
Vic, lead v., g.
Ollee, d.
Duncan, g., v.
James, b., v.

Official site:

-On Phonelines and Letterheads (MCD - 2006)